Tips for Parents
The Study Abroad Possibility
Chances are that your student is hearing chatter about study abroad opportunities. This is a difficult decision for students. Should I go or stay? Whatever you and your student decide, make sure it's the right decision for your student. Here are five great reasons for students to study abroad:
- International experience can help students gain self-confidence, self-reliance and independence. Living abroad requires the development of certain life skills students can't nurture without this unique opportunity.
- International experience helps students gain fluency in another language, as they are immersed in the culture. Living abroad can also help them satisfy college language requirements.
- International experience is an impressive resume note, especially in today's competitive job market and global society.
- International experience helps students truly understand what it means to be a citizen of their own country, while gaining new world perspectives and exploring different belief and value systems.
- International experience offers a one-of-a-kind structured opportunity for students to explore a new country with their peers, while engaging from both an intellectual and a social perspective.
Be sure to encourage your student to talk with folks on campus — there are plenty of resources available to help you in making this big decision.
Current Top Study Abroad Destinations
Open Doors 2009, a report on international education published annually by the Institute of International Education, lists the 25 most popular destinations for U.S. students studying abroad as:
- United Kingdom
- Costa Rica
- South Africa
- Czech Republic
- New Zealand
According to Open Doors 2009, the leading fields of study of Americans studying abroad are the social sciences (21.5% of those studying abroad), business and management (20%), humanities (13%), fine or applied arts (8%), physical/life sciences (7%), foreign languages (6%), health sciences (4.5%), education (4%), engineering (3%), math/computer science (2%) and agriculture (1%).
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